How does yoga help in increasing lung capacity?
Ya, nowadays more and more people are pay great attentions to keep a healthy body as the live are easier and they more tend to a good quality life. Well, Yoga is an exercise well recognized for its effectiveness in strengthening the flexibility of our muscles. But what most of us don’t realize is that yoga can actually aid in improving a diminished lung capacity because of the breathing techniques that are practiced along with the postures. This has also been proven in a study published by the US Journal of Medicine.
Most yoga exercises are performed with coordinated breathing techniques that ask you to inhale, exhale or hold your breath for every transitory phase of a posture. This basically slows the breathing down to optimum pace and in doing so increases oxygenation. Doing yoga for a longer period (10 weeks or more) then slowly increases the lung capacity overall – aiding in better respiration and more energy. The deep inhalation and slow exhalation also aid in more oxygen going in and more carbon dioxide being expelled, and also improves the muscular action involved in breathing.
5 yoga exercises to increase your lung capacity:
1. Alternate nostril breathing technique
Not a posture basically, the pranayama in yoga is considered to be one of the best ways to increase lung capacity with its deliberate inhalation (puraka), retention (kumbhaka) and exhalation (rechaka).
Sit in padmasana (lotus position). Hover your thumb and ring finger over your nostril – close your right nostril with your thumb and draw in a deep breath from your left nostril. Now hold the left nostril closed with the ring finger and exhale deeply from your right nostril. Do the opposite and inhale with your right nostril exhaling with the left nostril – repeat 5 times for each side.
2. Tree pose
The tree pose stretches the lungs up and away from the core, thereby increasing lung capacity.
Stand straight with feet shoulder length apart. Bend the right knee and place the foot high up on your left thigh with the sole firm and flat near the pelvic crease. The left leg should be straight – take a moment to be balanced. Breathing in, take both your arms sideways upwards with the hands folding in a Namaste. Keep the spine taut. Exhale and bring down the arms, and then the leg. Repeat on the other side.
3. Cat cow pose
With its sinuous spinal stretch, the marjariasana improves blood circulation to the lungs thereby increasing lung capacity and aiding in better expulsion of carbon dioxide.
Come to all fours and keep the spine straight like a table. Inhaling, raise the chin and push your navel downwardsm simultaneously raising the tailbone and compressing the buttocks. Hold and take deep breaths. Exhaling, drop your chin and arch your back up as much as you can, relaxing the buttocks. Hold and breathe, returning to the table pose.
4. Boat pose
The boat pose compresses the diaphragm and lungs thereby aiding in complete expulsion of breath.
Lie on your back with feet together and arms on either side. Take a deep breath and on the exhale, left your chest and feet off the ground – raising your arms towards the feet. Keep your eyes, fingers and toes in a line. Breathe in and out during the pose and relax slowly on the ground.
5. Triangle pose
With its sideways stretch and compression, the pose is great exercise for the chest muscles and increases lung capacity.
Stand tall with the feet 3-4 feet apart. Turn the right foot out 90-degrees and the left foot in about 15-degrees. Balance equally on both feet. Inhale, and on the exhale, bend the body sideways to the right from the hips – left hand in the air and right hand down on the floor (or holding the right ankle). Turn your head and look and the left palm. Breathe steadily. Inhaling, come up and straighten. Repeat on other side.